The story behind a print…
Prints are something particularly special within the world of design. They represent the coming together of colours, patterns, shapes and forms on a single piece of material, often in a vibrant, jubilant way. Joie de vivre in textile form – or that’s how we see the prints we create.
When people make the choice to wear these colourful pieces, what drives this decision? The purpose of prints in a sartorial context can be to unify a group or make a statement of individuality, but one thing is always common in their use: they are an act of expression. Through them, we express a mood, a feeling or simply pure aesthetic joy.
In the art movement Abstract Expressionism, mood and emotion were created through techniques that relied on gesture and movement. Characterised by free sweeping brushstrokes and mark-making, the idea was the artist could physically act out inner thoughts and feelings. Drawing on the belief that art should unfold from the unconscious mind, movement of the body was essential.
While these expressionistic artworks often appear spontaneous and sometimes even chaotic, a careful process of paint application created their uninhibited beauty. Everything was precise, intentional – while what the paint and colour conveyed was deeply personal.
Though impulsive and playful on the surface, the print we have created for our latest collection has been repeatedly refined and considered by our designers. Vivid colours, dancing shapes and overlapping textures produce an abstract pattern, which came from a combination of free and expressive marks made in chalk, acrylic and ink. Paintbrushes and rollers of different shapes and sizes were used to explore unexpected effects, while experimental collaging led to deeper textures.
In contrast to the spontaneity of this process, the later stages of development were detailed and precise. Each simple shape or flash of colour originated as an individual piece of art. Once the right composition was found, the separate components were carefully combined, arranged and repeated to form the comprehensive pattern.
From a distance, the print resembles a montage of colliding shapes and colours. At a closer look, you’ll recognise the fading trail of a roller and natural flow of paintbrush fibres, left exposed to honour the evolution of this print. A visual representation of free expression.
When we wear prints, we know they often speak for themselves – and in a way, we’re allowing them to speak for us. Like others, this print is anything but subtle. Behind the initial graphic impact, there is even more to its creation than meets the eye…